Education for Action: Empowering Local Communities for Biodiversity Conservation at CEPF Priority Sites in Vanuatu

 There is inadequate biodiversity awareness undertaken for local rural communities in Vanuatu. 

Women’s representative presenting the community draft action plan after a brainstorming session in Dolav, Gaua, Vanuatu.

After successfully organizing a one day workshop in the three CEPF project sites - Dolav community in Gaua, Kerepua community in Espiritu Santo and Kurumambe community in Tongoa Laika - Live and Learn Vanuatu has discovered that these communities have been harvesting their natural resources without the concept of protection and conservation, thereby causing a decline in these natural resources.

The Live and Learn Vanuatu one day workshops funded under CEPF in each of the three communities shed light on the concept of biodiversity, its values, and the threats from exploitation of natural resources. Community members’ were educated that if they did not take immediate action, their natural resources would decline in numbers leaving none of these resources for future generations to use or benefit from. Following the workshops, community members came to understand that they had to take ownership of this problem by upgrading their biodiversity inventory in their respected areas.

The Dolav community decided after the first workshop to engage in a community-based ecotourism project to help conserve and protect their marine, fresh water and forest resources. Father Charles Stanley expressed his community’s sentiments:

“Seeing the importance of biodiversity, we have decided to conserve a portion of our natural resources. Since we have the following resources available - a beach, river and forest and a beautiful bay where yachts harbour - we would like to engage in ecotourism activities. However, we will need assistance to undertake proper planning with Live and Learn Vanuatu during our next workshop. We would also like to ask Live and Learn Vanuatu through its CEPF-biodiversity project to assist us with our management plan as well as help us secure funds for this community initiative”.

Location: 
Oceania
Project and Initiatives: 
CEPF
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